Dan Kärreman

Dan Kärreman
Copenhagen Business School · Department of Intercultural Communication and Management

PhD

About

60
Publications
26,999
Reads
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7,689
Citations
Citations since 2017
20 Research Items
3632 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Royal Holloway, University of London
Position
  • Professor (Full)
March 2009 - present
Copenhagen Business School
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
This article examines identity work in the creative industries as a type of identity formation that has been underexplored in the literature on identity work to date. Based on interviews with performing artists in music and theatre, we show how creative workers feel compelled to perform negative (tortured and despondent) identity work in order to a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Remote work provides an alternative method of working for organisations, which in turn became a norm during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this, paper, we study adaptation practices introduced by both individuals and organisations as a way for managing the enforced remote work. The study draws upon 33 interviews collected over a year during different ph...
Article
Management is a practice that runs on ideas. Unfortunately, ideas that organizations must constantly change are prevalent. This can easily lead to junky ‘Fast Management’: management that is change-obsessed, attention-starved and over-hyped; that binges on mass-produced ideas; and that lacks substance. Inspired by the Slow Food Movement, this paper...
Article
Full-text available
This essay sets out the case for regarding confidential gossip as a significant concept in the study of organizations. It develops the more general concept of gossip by combining it with concepts of organizational secrecy in order to propose confidential gossip as a distinctive communicative practice. As a communicative practice, it is to be unders...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter highlights how organizational images and efforts to manage those images through branding influence the identities of individuals within organizations. The authors discuss the ways in which individuals' identity projects are regulated, challenged, or supported by images and brands. They argue that identity is a particularly important co...
Article
Communities of practice (CoPs) represent a broad range of work situations characterized by shared knowledge and situated knowledge use. Although CoPs have been studied rather extensively, discussions of control in CoPs are rarer. This is peculiar because CoPs are characterized by a common tension in contemporary work: on the one hand, CoPs are expe...
Article
This paper develops an understanding of coworking spaces as organizational phenomena. Based on an ethnography of betahaus in Berlin, we demonstrate how coworking spaces not only provide a sense of community but also pattern the work activities of their members. We theorize this finding by drawing on the emergent literature on organizationality. Our...
Article
Full-text available
Bullshit is a ubiquitous communication practice that permeates many dimensions of organizational life. This essay outlines different understandings of bullshit and discusses their significance in the context of organization studies. While it is tempting to reject bullshit as corrosive to rational organizational practice, we argue that it is necessa...
Article
Full-text available
Bullshit is a ubiquitous communication practice that permeates many dimensions of organizational life. This essay outlines different understandings of bullshit and discusses their significance in the context of organization studies. While it is tempting to reject bullshit as corrosive to rational organizational practice, we argue that it is necessa...
Article
This article draws on an ethnographic study of volunteer work in a German refugee shelter to explore how individual experiences of meaningfulness are intertwined with shifting discursive and organisational contexts. At the beginning of the so‐called refugee crisis, societal discourses portrayed this volunteer work as extraordinarily meaningful – a...
Article
This article records a panel discussion at the Organizational Working Time Regimes conference on 31 March 2017 at the University of Graz, Austria. The discussion was moderated by Sara Louise Muhr and the panelists were Jana Costas, Susanne Ekman, Laura Empson and Dan Kärreman. The discussion both departed from yet centred on the concept of time its...
Article
Full-text available
Although the lion’s share of scholarship in management and organization studies conceives of organizations as entities within which communication occurs, “Communication Constitutes Organization” (CCO) scholarship has attracted interest because it makes a productive reversal, that is, by asking how organization happens in communication. Over the pas...
Article
Context: The study of discourses (i.e. verbal interactions or written accounts) is increasingly used in social sciences to gain insight into issues connected to discourse, such as meanings, behaviours and actions. This paper situates discourse analysis in medical education, based on a framework developed in organisational discourse analysis and wi...
Article
This paper explores the interplay of sport, the professional body and the self in professional service firms. We draw on qualitative data collected at two large international management consulting firms to show how individuals use sport to construct and enact themselves as autonomous and ambitious professionals, as well as to escape from frustratio...
Article
This article draws attention to reported experiences of boredom in knowledge work. Drawing on extensive qualitative data gathered at two management consultancy firms, we analyze these experiences as a particular interaction with identity regulation and work experiences. We conceptualize the reports of the bored self as a combination of unfilled asp...
Article
This article discusses the current self-confidence and apparent success—at least by market/popularity measures—of leadership studies (LS) in general and transformational leadership (TFL) in particular. An alternative interpretation is offered, suggesting that it is the ideological character of these approaches that account fortune their “success,”...
Article
Full-text available
This article is a follow-up of Alvesson and Kärreman (2011a), which was in itself a follow-up of Alvesson and Kärreman (2000), and a response to a critique of the former by Hardy and Grant (2012). The critique is addressed directly and the logic behind it investigated critically. The article also addresses wider concerns regarding the politics of r...
Article
Full-text available
Corporate social responsibility has become an important topic for both academics and practitioners. CSR typically stands for corporate responses to ethical, environmental and social issues. Whilst extant research has predominately focused on CSR in relation to external stakeholders and taking a macro-institutional and/or functionalist perspective,...
Article
Organizational discourse has emerged as a large research field and references to discourse are numerous. As with all dominating approaches problematizations of assumptions are important. This article, partly a follow up of the authors’ frequently cited 2000 Human Relations article, provides a critical and perhaps provocative overview of some of the...
Article
In this article we respond to Bargiela-Chiappini, Iedema and Mumby.We notice that there is considerable agreement concerning the state of the art of organizational discourse analysis, while also discussing the disagreements. We expand on some of the ontological issues inherent in our argument, further discuss the character of reductionism in organi...
Article
Full-text available
The following roundtable took place at a one-day seminar at Lund University, 23 November 2009, and was organized jointly by ephemera, Copenhagen Business School and Lund University. The general topic of the seminar was to what extent self-management can be understood as a way of governing work through subjectivity. Topics discussed included the soc...
Article
This article reviews and discusses the contribution of William Starbuck's 'Learning by Knowledge-Intensive Firms'. Apart from situating Starbuck's article in its historical context and contemporary debates it is argued that the concept of esoteric knowledge and the focus on persuasion provides untapped potential for enhancing our understanding of k...
Article
Consent, obedience and resistance can be seen as key concerns in management and organization. Why people comply is a crucial issue in the field. We address the theme within a specific area: management consultants in a big firm that places quite a lot of pressure on its personnel to be hardworking and predictable and to subordinate themselves to hie...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a systematic attempt to analyze the effects of performance appraisals, here conceptualized as tools for executing disciplinary power, and how the agency of employees is shaped. The article demonstrates how agency is enrolled by a broad set of disciplinary technologies aimed at behavior as well as the self, orchestrated in way...
Article
We argue that critical management studies (CMS) should be conceptualized as a profoundly performative project. The central task of CMS should be to actively and pragmatically intervene in specific debates about management and encourage progressive forms of management. This involves CMS becoming affirmative, caring, pragmatic, potential focused, and...
Article
Research on management consultancy usually emphasizes the role and perspective of the consultants. Whilst important, consultants are only one element in a dynamic relationship involving both consultants and their clients. In much of the literature, the client is neglected, or is assumed to represent a distinct, immutable entity. In this paper, we a...
Article
An editorial from Mats Alvesson and Dan Kärreman in response to an editorial written by William McKinley on Alvesson and Kärreman's article on working with mysteries as a methodology for for developing new theoretical ideas is presented. Alvesson and Kärreman address McKinley's concerns that they lack conceptual parsimony through not giving credit...
Article
The current interest in organizational culture, identity, image and reputation and in organizational discourse points towards the pressure on contemporary organizations to focus attention on the symbolic dimensions of their activities. The phenomenon of branding, while originally portrayed as a marketing tool, can also be understood as an exercise...
Article
Full-text available
We outline a research methodology developed around two basic elements: the active discovery and/or creation of mysteries and the subsequent solving of the mysteries. A key element is the reflexive opening up of established theory and vocabulary through a systematic search for deviations from what would be expected, given established wisdom, in empi...
Article
This paper addresses human resources management (HRM) systems and practices in a large multinational management consultancy firm. The firm invests considerable resources in HRM, and is frequently praised by employees for its accomplishments in hiring, developing, and promotion. However, this general faith in HRM does not align particularly well wit...
Article
This paper reports a study of a Swedish School company, characterized by charismatic leadership and a radical vision, trying to create and implement standard operating procedures. We illuminate how efforts to bureaucratize are given meanings quite different to conventional ones of experiences of constraints and, at best, reluctant acceptance. The c...
Article
Increasing attention is being given to professional services in organisation and management theory. Whether the focus is on organisational forms or service processes such as knowledge transfer, the role of clients is often seen as central. However, typically, clients continue to be presented in a largely static, pre-structured and even monolithic w...
Article
This chapter discusses professional service firms as collectivities. Collectivity refers to the interface between the social and the cultural. It is a ‘social unit’; however, it is defined through the meanings, definitions and distinctions of the people involved. This chapter addresses the cultural and processual aspects on collectivity. Eight dime...
Article
This paper investigates a variety of forms of management control in a large management consultancy company. The very high level of compliance with corporate objectives among employees is highlighted and singled out as a phenomenon worth exploring. The company exhibits a rich variety of various formal control devices focusing on financial issues as...
Article
Developments in organization studies downplay the role of bureaucracy in favour of more flexible arrangements and forms of organizational control, including socio-ideological control. Corporate culture and regulated social identities are assumed to provide means for the integration and orchestration of work. Knowledge-intensive firms, which typical...
Article
The paper addresses the formation of moral consciousness in organizations. In particular, it focus to what extent and how organizational arrangements encourage and/or prohibit the development and exercise of moral judgement among newspaper professionals. The paper draws empirically from a case study of a Swedish evening newspaper, and from intervie...
Article
The paper discusses collectivity in an organizational context. Collectivity refers to the interface between the social and the cultural. It is a social ’unit’, but it is defined through the meanings, definitions and distinctions of the people involved. The paper addresses cultural and processual aspects on collectivity. Eight dimensions of collecti...
Article
Knowledge-intensive firms are frequently believed to operate under conditions that invalidate industrial-bureaucratic forms of managerial control. The nature of work, the professionalism of the workers makes traditional organizational structures and managerial techniques archaic and inefficient. However, empirical material from recent studies in tw...
Article
Full-text available
Organizational, managerial and leaderhip activity has traditionally been understood from a "substance" point of view. Organizations have been seen as typically producing tangible products through various forms of technostructural work process arrangements, and they have primarily been seen as contexts where leadership have been relation-oriented, t...
Article
The idea of knowledge management draws currently much attention, both among practitioners and scholars. Advocates of the term argue that knowledge management points to a new set of phenomena and practices for managers to learn and master. In particular knowledge management focuses on the creation and distribution of knowledge in organizations throu...
Article
This paper focuses on a single event in an organization - a meeting about the news bills and their presumed sales effects on a Swedish evening newspaper. The paper has three purposes. One is (strictly) empirical and shows in derail some aspects the editorial side of newspaper publishing. We show how shared meanings and a joint identification is acc...
Article
Discourse is a popular term used in a variety of ways, easily leading to confusion. This article attempts to clarify the various meanings of discourse in social studies, the term's relevance for organizational analysis and some key theoretical positions in discourse analysis. It also focuses on the methodological problem of the relationship between...
Article
This article takes the linguistic turn, or turns, in the social sciences as its point of departure and discusses the implications for methodology, empirical research, and field practices in social and organizational studies. Various responses can be identified: grounded fictionalism, giving up the hope of making substantive, empirical claims in ter...

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